I’ve been reading a great book The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Journey to Making Travel Sacred by Phil Cousineau. He has much to say about why I love to travel and where the original inspiration for The Patra Passage began. Cousineau writes: “pilgrimage (is) a powerful metaphor for any journey with the purpose of finding something that matters deeply to the traveler…The art of travel is the art of seeing what is sacred”.
Attention and intent are at the heart of the seer’s journey. Since the Patra Passage grew from pilgrimage and is in itself a pilgrimage, I wanted to write a little about seeing in this way. A central practice of my studio work is cultivating an ability to see in evidence everywhere an open door to the infinite. An object or image may lend focus when deep attention is required within and without. This could be anything really – anything would do if it causes us to slow down enough to take in the moment, perhaps glimpse the infinite. The Patra vessel is intended as an object for contemplation. If the bowl sits prettily on a shelf as many art works do, but does not invite interaction or prompt a reminder for deeper attention, it offers little on its intended pilgrimage. I encourage recipients to forget about the “art” part of the Patra vessel. Pick it up off the shelf, table, mantle and hold it. Take a moment to receive the day’s offerings.
“To be touched, we must in turn, touch….Objects that must be touched (are) an integral part of the pilgrimage”
“It is that simple. What you see is what you get.”
– Annie Dillard
“All we need to do is cleanse the doors of perception, and we shall see thing as they are – infinite.”
– William Blake
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
― John Lubbock
“We do not see things as they are; we see them as we are.”
– Richard Rohr
“After all, the true seeing is within.”
― George Eliot